A Treatise of Spiritual Infatuation,

STAMPE William (1650.)

£1500.00  [First Edition]

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being the present visible disease of the English nation. Delivered in severall sermons, at the Hague in Holland in the yeare 1650. By William Stampe, D.D. the imprisoned, plundered, exiled ministers of Gods word at Stepney nere London.


First Edition. 12mo (128 x 75mm). [66], 242, [4] pp. A little dusty and browned in places, errata leaves carefully laid down on thicker paper. Contemporary black morocco, covers ruled in gilt and with a central gilt panel with fleur-de-lys and thistle tools at each corner and a central elaborately tooled lozenge, smooth spine tooled in gilt, gilt edges (carefully rebacked with the majority of the old spine neatly laid down, a little rubbed and worn in places, missing two pairs of ties).


Hague: by Samuel Broun / English Bookseller,  

ESTC records six locations in North America. The work was re-printed in 1653, 1662 and 1716


Stampe's most substantial treatise: a bitter analysis of the Civil War by Charles II's personal chaplain.


William Stampe (c.1610/11-c.1654) was a clergyman and supporter of the Royalist cause in the Civil War. Following the Parliamentarian victory, Stampe followed the Royal Court into Continental exile, where he became chaplain to the future Charles II and his Aunt Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia. Such was his situation when composing this treatise. 


Although an energetic preacher, with the exception of a sermon printed in 1643, this treatise is Stampe's only published work. The dedication (dated 5th January 1650[/1]) is to the exiled royalist courtier and soldier Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Cleveland who had been patron of Stampe's former parish of Stepney. The long (60pp) address is to Stampe's former parishioners in Stepney, but particularly the Warden, Master and Brethren of the Corporation of Trinity House - then, as now, charged with maritime navigational aids. 


In this lengthy treatise, Stampe criticises the spiritual pride which, in his estimation, had sparked the religious conflicts of the 1640s. Unsurprisingly, he reminds his former parishioners of the excellence of regal government, and accuses them of guilt, albeit passive, in the recent troubles between church and state.


The treatise was printed by Samuel Broun/Brown (c.1611-1665), an English bookseller based in the Netherlands. Like Stampe, Brown had gone into exile following the Civil War, where he had established himself "as the most important distributor of royalist news and propaganda within the exile community on the continent" (ODNB). Brown issued a second edition in 1653, again from The Hague. 


Stampe himself did not live to witness the Restoration, dying in The Hague around 1653. Wentworth, his patron, returned to the Royalist army in 1660, and died in 1667. 


Provenance: No obvious signs of any early provenance. Most likely the copy sold at Sotheby's April 1918 from the library of editor of Pepys' diary, H. B Wheatley. 

Stock Code: 246341

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